The Rio Grande Valley golf landscape is unique. There are no real elevation changes (unless you count moguls), leaves will never fall in the fairway enough to cover your ball and you will never be unable to play due to snow.
That pretty much means year-round golf.
In today’s edition we will take a look at one of last year's Upper-Valley Favorites – Palm View Golf Course. Then the next two issues we look at a favorite from the Mid- and Lower-Valley areas.
By filling out the survey, you could win free rounds of golf or other prizes – just by voting for your favorite RGV golf courses. You can fill out the form in today’s edition of the Winter Texan Times (or the next two issues) or fill out the form online at www.wintertexantimes.com. All entries must be received by 4 p.m., Wednesday, February 12.
We encourage our Winter Texan golfers to look over the listing of golf courses on the ballot and tell us which courses are your favorites in the Rio Grande Valley. And if there are some courses you haven’t played, go give them a try. Who knows, you may discover a new “favorite” to add to your list.
A few years back, Carlos Espinosa noticed that there seemed to be a slight disconnect between his golf course and the Winter Texan population. While he knew that the population varied from year to year, there seemed too few of the snowbirds coming to the course.
So, the director of golf for the City of McAllen and Palm View Golf Course decided to take to the streets and see how better the city and the course could serve the winter clientele.
“It was probably the best thing we could have ever done,” Espinosa said. “We went out, we asked questions and we listened to what they wanted. We discovered that they wanted value with quality, a nice ratio of how they wanted to spend their money.
“Doing that has been a blessing.”
That’s what has made Palm View one of the top courses annually in the voting for the Winter Texan Times Favorite Golf Course.
Nestled just south of the expressway on Ware Road, Palm View Golf Course has been renovating and improving what it offers to its guests seemingly at a torrid pace.
“We are investing in our product through our patrons,” said Espinosa, who is celebrating his 21st year at the municipal course. “They are not only great patrons of our course, but they are also great ambassadors of our course, sharing who we are with everyone when they go back home.”
Palm View is one of the Valley’s nicest designed and maintained course, public or private, in the Rio Grande Valley. The course is set up for golfers to take as a big of a challenge as they’d like as the course will play anywhere from 4,816 yards to 6,787 yards.
In terms of why we are trying to do things over the past few years, our infrastructure has aged,” Espinosa said. “The City of McAllen is aware of the need and want for a quality golf course that you have to keep investing to keep that quality.”
Over the summer, the course reconstructed it’s driving range, laser leveled more than half of the tee boxes and reconstructed every single sand bunker.
“I am terribly proud of our driving range,” Espinosa said “I have been all over the state and I promise you there’s no other driving range better, or as good as what we have to offer. It’s almost the size of a football field, the tee area. We wanted to offer grass all year for our customers to hit from and we have no problem keeping grass on this. It’s amazing.”
The new bunkers offer golfers at least some positive news if they drive their ball into “the beach.”
“If you hit is there, at least you’ll be hitting it out of good sand,” Espinosa said.
Espinosa said he often looks at the golf course today and remembers back to when he started there.
“I’ll just think to myself, ‘huh, I’ve been truly blessed all these years and I hope our patrons, customers and friends feel the same way.”